2005_01_food_tribecacookbook.JPGThe TriBeCa Cookbook: Seasonal Menus from New York's Most Renowned Restaurant Neighborhood, by Mary Cleaver (Ten Speed Press, 1994)

Image courtesy Pears of New York, http://www.ars-grin.gov/ars/PacWest/Corvallis/ncgr/pony.index.htmlBeing snowed in and hungry makes Gothamist fantasize about (among other things) warm desserts like apple pie and molten chocolate cake. So when we found the Odeon's recipe for pear turnovers that can be assembled a month in advance and thrown in the freezer so we can have warm, homemade dessert whenever we want, it was a dream come true. These little triangular pear pie pockets are a great, easy-to-make dessert (or, honestly, brunch item) that we are looking forward to having on hand during the next snow emergency.

The Tribeca Cookbook contains a wealth of delicious recipes (some of them easy!) from the Odeon, Chanterelle, Tribeca Grill, and other Tribeca restaurants, some still in existence and some (like El Teddy's) not, making it a great gift for anyone nostalgic for Tribeca's early-eighties heyday, or just hungry for Chanterelle's Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake.

Because puff pastry is always best as it comes out of the oven, prepare the turnovers ahead of time and keep them in the freezer until just before baking. You can store the unbaked turnovers in the freezer for up to one month in an airtight container.

The Odeon's Pear Turnovers
Serves 6

1 package frozen puff pastry sheets
3 to 4 Bartlett or Anjou pears
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons almond paste
1 egg plus one egg yolk
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Remove the puff pastry from the freezer 20 minutes before rolling it out.

2. Peel the pears and dice them into 1/2-inch pieces. (If the pears are hard, dice them smaller.) You will need about 2 cups of pears. Combine them in a mixing bowl with the preserves, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. Roll out the pastry sheet to about 12 x 18 inches, and cut out six 6-inch squares. (Refreeze or discard any leftover pastry.) Crumble one-sixth of the almond paste into the center of each square. Distribute the pear mixture among the 6 squares. Fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle. Crimp the edges with a fork. Place the turnovers on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour before baking. (If planning to store for longer, transfer to an airtight container once the turnovers are firm.)

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the whole egg and the egg yolk together in a small bowl. Brush the egg mixture over each turnover and cut a small slit in the top of it. Bake the turnovers for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are puffy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the turnovers to cool slightly. Dust them with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice cream and Anjou Pear liqueur.